Tibetan King Ancient Medicinal Incense Sticks from EOTA.
I give this one a definite thumbs up. Though not as rich, this is very much in the style of my no-longer-available 6-year-old
Medicine King Mandala which was a favorite. It has the quality, complexity and synergy I love about good Tibetans.
Noticeable saffron, little or no musk.
Tibetan King Ancient Medicinal Incense Sticks from EOTA (continued). I have to temper my first impression somewhat…
Unlike my old Medicine King, Tibetan King contains some powerful (to me) medicine I have not noticed elsewhere. A little is OK, but I cannot really bask in the scent as much as I’d like.
My first sniff as lighting this there was a salty hit of kyara and then the stick lit and I blew it out and the smoke came out as a soft, sweet, powdery aloeswood reminiscent of Renzan from Tennendo. Then I spent some time and this expertly shifts between sweet and salty unlike other kyaras, giving this major points for uniqueness. My nose is still getting ‘trained’ on Kyara as it’s so rare that right now, my kyara is coming from sticks I buy here and there but my list of Kyara sticks is still under 20 and that means I have little experience to judge this as good or bad but definitely, the range from salty to sweet has happened multiple times while I’ve been writing this and re-sniffing, but one thing that is letting me down around this kyara is that most of the kyara I’ve encountered so far have a oily, resiny note that is definitely in it’s own class. While I know there are five countries of aloes wood and then ‘kyara’, I wonder if the five countries flavors actually apply to Kyara? Because this is different.
If anyone’s looking to try a new Tibetan incense I have a couple suggestions. Dakpa Tamdin is one you rarely hear about or find anywhere. I’m so impressed with two of them that I have to write.
They seem to have close to ten different incenses and JCrows Market Place is the only one that carries them all. There are a few vendors that carry a couple of them and they are few and far between. I find all of them pleasing…some better than others but there are two that stand out above and beyond any Incense I’ve ever smelled including the high-end Monastery and Medical College incenses.
The two I’m talking about come in two grades and the grade one of each is the best. They are Shingkham Kuenkhyap grade one red stick and the other is Thribthon Kunsel a short yellow stick. While I don’t have the olfactory senses of Mike and others here to describe them properly I can say they’re pungent and spicy with a sense of cornchips. These are two incenses off the beaten path that deserve more recognition. They’re so rare that only JCrows sells them and I wish it was better known so more people could find out about them…truly two hidden gems if there ever were any. To me they belong in the Tibetan Hall of Fame.
For any Tibetan lovers out there do yourselves a favor and try these two. I’m also wondering if anyone has ever got a vendor to start carrying an incense they didn’t have as I’m going to try and see if others could start getting these in.
Just got my sample packs from Incense-Traditions. Have only burned a couple of each so far and have a few more to go so my impressions might change in the future…for the better if they change at all.
I like the Mindroling very much and it seems similar to Mandala Trading’s “Peace” but more refined and richer.
Holy Land is really nice but I don’t know where all the talk about barnyard and funk comes from…isn’t in my sticks at all. Much closer to Lama Chodpa to me. Was expecting something like Ganden and Lhasa from the Dhoop Factory or Tibetan Monastery but I’m not seeing any of that…maybe it’s changed as I have heard. Still very good and super rich.
There’s a Bhutanese Monastery incense also that’s very interesting. Has a mystical and magical aroma with a hint, trace or thread of Cinnamon? running through it. Was expecting something like Nado P but it’s much different. Almost no smoke at all…only way to tell it’s lit is by the aroma and seeing the stick glow. Has a smell I can’t describe or compare it too…never smelled anything like it…almost odorless but not…that’s where they mystical comes in.
These incenses are almost worthy of worship in themselves…truly the Picasso’s and Masterpieces of the finest incenses. None have any barnyard funk at all…just rich soothing relaxing pleasant aromas. No learning curve for me here…took right to them.
Reviewing: Wildwood 2016, Kyphi 2016, Sandal Oud Agar Antique, Ocean of Night Urrere 2015/16, Naga 2015
Ocean of Night: A must buy. I had a sample from 2014/15 to compare to the 2015/16 edition and there is a definite evolution to this incense. Without knocking the older edition the 2015 version smells closer to its title. There is a subtle hint of brine and it is less sweet than previous versions. It is a wonderful and “warm” loose incense
Kyphi 2016: What is there to say about Kyphi than hasn’t already been said? I loved the 2015 version and I love the 2016 edition even more. One of the things I noticed this time around are the wine and chocoloate notes which I can enjoy without being reminded of food neccesarily right off the bat. Buy, buy, buy.
Sandal Oud Agar Antique: Exactly what the title says. It smells beautiful and for the price it is worth the cost if these scents are your thing. I am trying not to go through this too fast. Highly recommended.
Wildwood 2016: Now this is what I had imagined Forest Balsam was going to be. I can definitely smell the influence Forest Balsam had on this edition of Wildwood and it has improved this “green line” for the better. I liked the 2014/15 version of WildWood, too of course. The sweeter, fruitier notes that I found overpowering in Forest Balsam are sublimated and give the blend that zing, or pop to the nose. It is a beautiful, icy, coniferous blend and I hope Mermade continues in this tradition for all Wildwood vintages to come. BUY.
I am going to be that weirdo whose nose seems to diverge from everyone else’s. This smelled like hashish. A smell that I am not partial to. I didn’t detect any water or floral notes at all either at a temp below 150 or up to 250 F on the Lotus Heater. 😦
I tried a really inexpensive, but awesome Tibetan incense!
Called “Unsurpassable Healing Incense”.
Very floral, herbal, and spicy with musky undertones.
Roughly 25, nine inch sticks at a ridiculous $8.50 price tag!
Highly, HIGHLY recommended!
This one is AMAZING! I too tried it, and couldn’t believe something so CHEAP smelled better than the $90 Lotus Ground (at least to me). Unsurpassable Healling is strong, but sweet, long burning, musky, and just amazing in every way. This is the perfect meditation incense. I still can’t believe it’s only $8.50! This is one to stock up on, in case they get wind of how amazing their product is and up the price!
Tennendo Propolis Incense – what a delightful surprise!
In addition to honey, bees make propolis. They gather the resins from sap flows and tree buds, chew it up and take it back to their hives….where they use it as an antibacterial, anti-fungal sealant for undesirable open spaces in the hives. The propolis can then be harvested by scraping it off the sides the beehive or surfaces of the honeycombs, where the bees have applied this “caulk”.
Tennendo has done just this, and created a beautiful incense with the propolis collected by bees from pine, cottonwood and aspen trees. It is unlike anything I have smelt before. Surprisingly, it does not smell like honey but has this rich, warm, highly intoxicating scent that many would call “balsamic” – but it is not sweet. It is kind of indescribable.
My only complaint is that the scent dissipates fairly quickly after it has finished burning, it doesn’t linger as long as I would like it to. But fortunately, given the reasonable price, I can just light up another stick 🙂
Sampled several other incenses from Hart’s site. The Dzongsar Be Dur Ya…just WOW! This one bowled me over. It’s super strong and definitely not for a beginner or someone who has a hard time with wild, animalistic, funky incenses. I can’t say I dislike it, but I can’t say I LIKE it either. It might come to grow on me after a few more sticks.
The Tsurpu Grade 1 Brown is a very soft, yet herbal scent. Even after a few sticks, I couldn’t place the smell. It’s nice, and a pretty good place for someone who likes herbaceous blends and has a sensitive nose.
Dhe-Tsang is a spicy little thing. It’s herbal, strong, and spicy. Also rather cheap for such a good quality incense. You can tell that this incense is well made. I like it, especially after a few sticks. It easily grows on you, unlike the Dzongsar, which can blow someone away with barely a tenth of the stick.
Hart’s Highland is great. Very strong musky animal smell. At first, I didn’t like it, but it’s really grown on me a lot. I don’t know if Beth’s Highland smells the same, since I haven’t tried it, but I do know I really like Hart’s. If Beth’s is the same, then Highland is definitely worth the money, even if the formula is different. I never tried to “old” version, so I don’t know. Unless the one I got from Hart is the old version. If so, then it is great. Funky, musky, and strong.
Terra…just looked up Hart Broudy to check it out. All I can say is WOW…that’s some “serious” Tibetan Incense there. Only highend incense too…I’ll need to be very careful and use caution browsing his websight…a guy could go broke. None of it’s cheap at all and rightly so and I’m already in love and drooling with what he’s got. I’m awe struck…I mean like he’s got stuff I’ve never heard of and it’s all mouth watering…ouch! Thanks Terra.
Don’t thank me! Like you said, a guy (gal in my case) could easily go broke! Order some TOTALLY FREE samples to try what you think you might like. That way you’ll know exactly what you want. I posted this elsewhere, but Hart will also work with you if you let him know what your tastes already are. He helped me find Tsurpu for myself and Dhe-Tsang for my fiance, since he can’t smell weak incense. If you have a particular like, he’ll try and find something similar to it. Like, if you enjoy Lotus Ground, Dzongsar is a VERY complex strong incense you might enjoy. I like Lotus Ground, but it isn’t my favorite (that’s Holy Land) so that might be why I can’t make heads or tails of Dzongsar yet.
Thanks Terra…I know once I start I’ll end up buying most of what he sells. Pungent is what I’m looking for…barnyard funk and fun…dirty socks and all. I just like to roll around in all the funk. Friend of mine always says…you still burning those old mops in cat urine.
I’m amazed at his selection…never seen that many high-end Tibetans in one place except maybe EoA.
I have some Tashi Lhunpo….Mount Everest and Himalaya Healing that almost brings a tear to my eye every time I burn it…it’s that good….makes me cry. I have most of their incenses and they are all top of the line…pure and clean.
Another is Shingkham Kuenhyap…grade two is a red stick and grade one is yellow. Pungent, spice and pepper is the name of the game here. Made by Dakpa Tamdin. Tashi Lhunpo makes one too but haven’t tried theirs yet.
Hart just added like 5 MORE high-end incense, except he’s branching out a bit, and these are Japanese and Bhutanese. I dunno what they smell like since he JUST added them, but I’m sure they’re superb since they’re also pretty high end. I definitely want to try the Bhutan sampler pack. It has every Bhutan incense he sells in it, and it lets me try it all without committing to one without knowing it I like it first!
If Nado P is in there grab any of his…that’s some of the best Bhutanese there is…IMO.
Have to put a plug in here for the King of Funk…Dhoop Factory’s Lhasa. That’s about as high end as I’ve gotten and it’s their most expensive incense. It’s a sort of “private” incense for people experienced in this sort of thing. Neighbors might call the police if they got a wiff and they might lock you up…would be worth it though…100% barnyard…heaven on a stick.
Terra…have been emailing Hart Broudy the last few days and asked him about animals being used in incense. He told me the Chinese have banned real Musk since the 1990s and it’s illegal now.
As for Pangolin they aren’t even used. Said there’s an error and mis-translation between Chinese and English. Nagi which means dragon and shells or seashells which are used in incense…not dragon which I guess was confused with the Pangolin and it’s scales. Anyway you can see the words and how things could get confused and mistranslated but from what I remember the animal isn’t used at all.
He said he has updated this information on his websight. Thought you and anyone else might be interested so I’m passing this on. He’s also sending me some samples which I’m very much looking forward to.
Reviewing holy transfiguration monastery incenae: Spruce island, Byzantium, and tsaritsa.
I was not impressed by Byzantium and tsaritsa at first. The scent is floral though hard to place and it didn’t bowl me over with strong singular notes like Damascus rose or imperial violet did. However, after a few days I came around. They are a wonderful incense to perfume a room or house with on a burner. One of the interesting things about tsaritsa and Byzantium is that they contain more binder than the exclusively floral resin cakes offered by the monastery. I assume this is due to the fact that Byzantium and tsaritsa aren’t singular note incense and are a combination of various ingredients. They still melt down pretty good and the cakes aren’t the hard white bricks that other orthodox incense can be. You can see the amber and gold resin peeking out from the clay powder.
Spruce island was a disappointment but then again it was from the cheapest tier of incense holy transfiguration had to offer. The scent was weak, kind of dirty, and not terribly green or piney.
The 4 bucks spent on it would have been better served going towards either one of Breene’s Wildwood blends or one of Holy Transfiguration’s Best Incense or higher quality tiers. The latter contains many blends of the same name from the cheaper tiers but they are of MUCH higher quality.
I have sampled 4 sticks of Dzogchen Monastery’s Brilliant Gem incense, and WOW! It isn’t as awe-inspiring as Lotus Ground, but personally I would put it up there with Samye. It’s light, ethereal, and has a very smooth and natural smell for a Tibetan incense. You can definitely tell it’s by the same people who made Lotus Ground, that beautiful, seemless combining of herbs is very evident. It doesn’t go in any particular direction, and is a perfect incense for people just starting Tibetan who want a super high quality incense. I am not sure what is in it, but I do not detect a single hint of animal musk or pangolin/nagi. It sings with a pure herbal voice.
This incense is the crowning jewel of Incense Traditions. Hart Broudy was amazing and sent me 4 free sticks, and I love every one of them! He will send you a free sample as well, and it takes around 5 days (not counting weekends) to get, which is amazing since it’s coming from Canada and it’s the holidays! Hart’s site and incense is well worth buying, and if not buying, then at least picking out some free samples!
Naga’s Nest is very unique – perhaps my favorite of her blended incenses, save perhaps the perennial awesomeness of Deep Earth. Don’t know how to describe Naga’s Nest except that there are some very exotic notes in there
Naga’s Nest (now called just Naga, with added ingredients) is a truly unique and astonishing incense blend. It lasts forever (I still have an old Naga’s Nest jar that’s almost full) and the scent fills the room. It reminds me of the bite of Holy Land with the odd sweetness of Lawudo. My favorite of her blended incense is Dark Goddess, which she just posted a new batch of.
Every once in awhile, Chia at Kyarazen decides to grace the world with his creations, although I am usually a day late getting there with my order. Fortunately I wasn’t this time, as a tube of each of his latest arrived yesterday in a sturdy, hand crafted box, that kept every stick unbroken over the long journey, amazing when you consider the size of the sticks. The Mysore Sandalwood was as promised, true to the wood, not a sign of the binder noticeable, and was in fact quite the same as heating a piece of top quality wood on a piece of mica would have been. A very remarkable accomplishment, and one I wish the Japanese companies selling sandalwood sticks would follow! The wood used appears to be the more buttery type that Yamadamatsu sells as opposed to the slightly spicier Shunkodoh style, however I believe that is what most sandalwood lovers expect. The other incense, Enko, has a slight cinnamon and tea undertone along with myriad other ingredients which I admit I am unable to identify, probably due more to mastery of the mixer than my unfamiliarity with off the wall ingredients 🙂 No, I’m not going to plead steep learning curve, this is a great incense that isn’t like any other out there. Great job on both! Good luck with your Incense Culture Association!
My experience of the Forest Balsam was exquisite. I have no doubt that this was the original scent of Christmas 🙂 I “burnt” it all day yesterday (Dec.25th) and my house became a fresh, fragrant forest glen in the deep peaceful trance of winter. I feel like Katlyn really captured the essence with this blend. Marvelous!
I was thrilled to be able to buy incense directly from Chia. He is a real delight to communicate with, he shipped quickly and the tubes of incense (Mysore Sandalwood, Enko and Ryusho) were packed with a lot of care.
Gregg did justice to describing the scents. I wanted to add how serene the atmosphere felt when I was burning Chia’s incense. Having never met him in person, I can only assume that his sticks are imbued with some of his persona. Earlier in the day, I had been burning Ganden, Lawudo and Medicine Buddha from Dhoop Factory. All very assertive. The Kyarazen scents are like a gentle, compassionate hand soothing one’s cares away in the softest, subtlest way.
Normally a stick of Baika-ju is my bed time incense, but I may mix that up with a stick of Enko, which had me fast asleep within minutes of lighting it.
Do not hesitate to order incense from Kyarazen. The entire experience is lovely!
I missed this sale but your comment about his Mysore, which he sent me a sample of, has me wanting to ask you because you seem to know your sandalwood. So my question is what is up with the Baieido Byakudan Kokoh? I paid a high price expecting something like sandalwood but the sticks I got recently from Japanincense.com smell like a higher quality version of the Kobunboku series. I was somehow let down by this expecting instead something more like the Kyarazen Mysore or even the Essence du Monde Australian Sandalwood. Is my nose just untrained and I’m not picking up some subtlety? This is easily the most expensive sandalwood stick on the market I can think of so I expected more.
Received a batch of Mermade’s Forest Balsam and it smells like overripe mangoes.
It isn’t… what I was expecting as I happen to really like Katlyn’s green line, especially Wild Wood (which is gone now… was wanting to buy some but it literally went out out of stock as I was checking out.) I was expecting those scents turned up to 11.
Did anyone else have the same experience? Did I get a bad batch?
I’ve been wanting to get the latest batch of Naga too but I’m hesitant now. On a positive note Copalli Incensio, and Wild Wood, as well as Mermade’s Franks are top notch.
I also encourage everyone to try out Holy Transfiguration’s incense cakes. They are incredibly long lasting, with pure and strong scents. The cakes melt down to a pool of resinous liquid which makes me think that there is a high floral oil content.
I have Imperial Jasmine, Royal Violet, Spikenard, and Damascus Rose.
If you’re looking for pure one note scents to perfume a room for a good long time these will not disappoint.
I did not get mango from the Forest Balsam. I got winter in the cold woods surrounded by conifers. It was so intense and good, I wanted to immediately order all of her remaining stock. Last night I used some of my older Mermade Winter Woods. It’s a lower key sister to Forest Balsam.
Then either I got a bad batch or this is just one of those mixes that doesn’t read well/accurate to my nose. What you’re describing sounds wonderful and I’m quiet disappointed that wasn’t my experience.
I’ll have to figure out what to do with it now.
Hopefully Wildwood is back in rare form soon.
Side note: has anyone tried Holy Cross Hermitage’s blends? I should have some coming in today and would like to compare notes.
Ummm…no comparison to any of them. It is floral, but an airy, watery, non-powdery floral. It is not tropically narcotic or heavy. It’s uplifting, a touch tangy in an almost citrussy way and quite unique.
How did I get Forest Balsam? I pretty much bought it as soon as it came out. I received mine in 3 days processing included.
We ARE getting deeper into the holiday season and I figure that the later in the month you order from anywhere it is going to encounter delays due to large shipping volume.
I ordered some more incense from Holy Transfiguration on the 4th and they do 2 day shipping as well and I haven’t received an update. Granted they might be making a batch right now as we speak so when it gets it gets here.
I’m glad you tried both sources of the Holy Land. Beth’s stock of it is/was from a newer batch, which is why I commented that IT’s was “old stock”. I see that IT has just gotten a fresh order in, so future shipments may be more alike. The one thing you will notice when buying Holy Land over time is that it varies from batch to batch. Some batches are very heavy on the musk, some on other elements, which is why I tend to stock up heavily when I run across a batch I like, as Beth can attest. Oddly enough, “Grade 2” Holy Land has always maintained its high level of quality without the variation and you may find that you like that version best, as the “hammy” note is for the most part absent, almost presenting as TMC’s version of Lotus Ground. More floral spice, less costus root, but a similar amount of musk. Also agreed is that the Dzongsar is not as polished, just heap powerful medicine 🙂
My guess is Incense Traditions, which is Hart’s web site, but I could be wrong 🙂 As far as illegal animal trade and China, one could only wish what you said was true. However, one look at the CITES web site will show you otherwise, as China is the destination of a majority of the illegally taken rhino and elephant horn in the world, used as an aphrodisiac. The musk, on the other hand, comes from legally harvested musk deer in Siberia, where it is legal to hunt same. If the monasteries have found a way to replace the musk without it being noticeable, as may be the case with TMC and the Holy Land, then more power to them. I am not in favor of wanton harvest of any resource, be it animal or plant.
Gregg thanks. I’m new to Harts web sight and probably overlooked the IT part. Actually just placed an order for sample packs of Tibetan Medical and Monastery plus he’s sending some free samples too.
As for the animal stuff…oh well…I’m still hoping it’s a mis translation and mix up of words between Tibetan, Chinese and English but it is what it is. I have to assume since they’re Buddhists they know what they’re doing…animals or no animals…who am I to judge. I don’t live there and don’t know their culture and customs…only what I read about, the news and videos but I’m not there in person to really know but they do and I have faith in them…Tibetans anyway… it is what it is I guess. I’m pretty much a vegetarian and am against any sort of harm to animals. Didn’t mean to bring this up again…thought I had some good news…oh well…so much for that.
Anyway I’m looking forward to getting my order of the big stuff…major league incense. Thanks again for the heads-up Gregg.
You haven’t reviewed LittleHippieMama’s incense cones, but you REALLY need to. Cones are normally overwhelming, smoky, perfume dipped nightmares, but these are all natural and smell amazing. They ARE smoky, but the smell is amazing and the natural ingredients are superb as well. I also usually take the top or bottom half of a cone and crush it in my mortar and pestle and heat it on the Golden Lotus, where the beautiful scents last longer and don’t smoke. However, heated on a heater, they don’t release the full, robust scent that burning the cone the right way does.
Some stand-outs are Sweetgrass/Sage cones, Mabon Harvest, and Faerie Frolics. Mermade sells Sweetgrass/Sage, but the others you have to order directly from Pam (HippieMama) via eBay or Etsy. For such amazing quality cones, these are also really cheap. Sweetgrass/sage has a wonderful sweet/natural smell and is great for smudging, while Faerie Frolic and Mabon Harvest are sweet and natural, an excellent offering to the natural world and truly created with love. Faerie Frolics is sure to bring visions of the Fey, and Mabon Harvest will surely enchant you.
Copal is another favorite, but it is super smoky, so it must be burned in a larger room or outside, unless you don’t mind the smoke (or don’t have an annoyingly sensitive smoke alarm, like I do).
She can also do custom orders, where you can sample one of each of her cones. You will NOT be disappointed with any of her cones. The only one I’ve come close to disliking was a moldy version of Sweet Dreamy Slumbers, but when she sent me replacement non-moldy cones, I changed my tune and these became some of my favorites as well. Green Tea is certainly unique as well. Not good or bad, just…odd.
Review on Dzonchen Monastery and Nectar (recent release sticks).
Dzongchen’s Lotus Ground is just…WOW! This is worth EVERY penny. As soon as I get paid, I’m ordering a full double roll box. Something about this incense is just special in ways I never imagined. It’s sweet, musky, a tiny bit floral, and just…WOW!
Nectar from Tibetan Medical College is superb as well. I usually stuck with Holy Land, but Nectar…there’s just something about it that I MIGHT like better than Holy Land! Holy Land Grade 2, which I still have some of these ginormous sticks, is still my favorite, but Nectar comes in second, tied with Holy Land. I can’t decide which is my favorite. These are VERY special incenses, and I’m VERY happy Beth restocked Holy Land. I don’t care if the shipping time is a month, Lotus Ground and Holy Land/Nectar are worth waiting for.
Review on Samye Monastery Incense Powder.
Red/rust color. Used in a Mermade Heater.
Initially starts out with complex, ever changing, peppery, musky elements.
After about one hour, it settles into a permanent Kyara Candy Cane nose.
This gives off a scent for hours! Highly recommended!
Available on EBAY.
Reviewing my Mermade incense here. The brand-new honey champa is delicious. It smells like molten honey and smells like you could eat it. I put mine on the electric heater instead of lighting it, so I don’t know if it smells differently that way. Their Ensence Antique is also something superb. I can smell the sweet oud and other precious woods. Xochi is, I feel, a bit under-loved. This herbal mix is astonishing. I have literally nothing to compare it to. I can smell the mind-altering herbs included in this mix and they’re superb. The Datura and morning glory are particularly apparent. I ordered a jar of Deep Earth, and this is truly something special. It’s Kyphi x10. If you like Kyphi, Deep Earth will be your new favorite.
As for my favorite, that would be Luna. The Jasmine is tangy, sweet, and pops out. This is an excellent blend. I received a free full bottle of ScentuALIty and just wow. This amazed me. I can totally understand why these cost so much for so little. I put a tiny amount of powder (not even a teaspoon full) on the burner and the scents just burst into the air around me. If you haven’t tried Mermade and the Golden Lotus heater, please, don’t hesitate. Also, Katlyn is amazing. I got two free gifts (bottle of ScentuALIty and a hairpin/incense digger) and many samples.
My favorite company is BOSEN, despite a lot of their products only being available in Taiwan. Blessing is my absolute favorite of their incenses. It’s sweet, calming, and has a tangy aloeswood scent to it as well. I much prefer the coils to the sticks as well. They last longer and the scent seems to fill the room faster. Since I’m a regular customer, I received a nice sized sample box that had their various aloeswood products, two complete boxes of Blessing coils, and a complete box of Chin-Zhou aloeswood coils.
One sample was 5 top grade aloeswood sticks in a wooden tube. These were amazing. This was pure, woody aloeswood with no filler or animal musk used at all. BOSEN is an amazing company. Beware of Amazon’s shipping though. They ship recklessly and very slowly. I’ve sadly had to leave bad feedback due to this, but BOSEN kindly reimbursed me with a replacement pack of whatever was damaged without me needing to buy it again.
Amitabha Buddha Rope: This is the first Tibetan rope incense I’ve tried, and I really crave it now! Most of the Tibetan sticks I’ve tried so far are too complex for my nose to detect individual notes. But this rope…yum! Something in it is syrup-y sweet (sandalwood, maybe? I’m very new at this) and the smoke fills the room with a soft, powdery honey smell that I can’t get enough of.
I’m looking forward to trying other incense rope varieties, and have included 3 new flavors in my most recent order.
Christina you’ll enjoy rope incense. There are a couple others like the Amitabha…Tashi and Lumbini almost identical but each has a slight difference and most any sandalwood rope is good too. Beth at EoA has a ton of rope incense you won’t find anywhere else and a cool rope burner you should get if you’re going to be burning it a lot.
Thanks, William! I’m pleased about your recommendation for Lumbini rope because as it happens I placed an order with Beth at EoA for a Lumbini box set – comes with 50 Lumbini ropes, 50 Lumbini Special ropes, and 7 Lumbini sticks. I also ordered Desert Rose ropes because they have Frankincense, which I adore. Can’t wait to try them and more!
I have a Tibetan burner that has a spiral for the ropes to lay in, plus a large hole for Tibetan sticks and a small hole for thin sticks like Japanese ones. Such a versatile little burner.
Christina of the three ropes mentioned I personally like the Lumbini the best…just plain hot and spicy. Sounds like you enjoy Tibetan which is pretty much all I burn and have noticed that rope, Frankincense and Myrrh resin all seem to compliment each other somehow. Each seems to make the other stand out.
If you haven’t already figured this out you will…keep an eye on your money….it can go fast in this area but it’s one passion that I don’t mind watching as it goes up in smoke.
I have resins and some inexpensive Japanese & Indian sticks (and now have some expensive samples on their way to me so I can try the aloeswoods and kyaras), but I find myself reaching for the Tibetans more often. There’s just something about them…so peaceful. I can’t wait to place my next order for some of the Hall of Fame varieties of Tibetans. I’m simply yearning to try them all!
Yes, I have definitely found myself being miserly with my usual “treat” purchases so that I can spend my disposable income on incense instead. It’s so worth it, though.
Has anyone else tried the Awaji Koh-shi White Lily (by Tahodo)? YIKES. It is … really not good. I picked it up on a whim with my last Japan Incense order, since it was on sale for only $5 – at more than a third off, I guess maybe it’s being discontinued? If so, I can certainly see why. It smells kind of like smoldering bamboo and … uh, weed, frankly. Reminds me of some really low end Tibetans (and I’m not good with that style). On the unlit stick there’s a pleasant enough light floral scent, but I don’t detect it at all once lit.
Did I get a bum box or is this just really terrible?
The news from Jay, who I’m sure will weigh in once the backlog of orders at Japan Incense is filled, is not exactly good for lovers of Seijudo incense. Please say that a 60% price increase is not coming! Not that long time consumers couldn’t see the signs, as kyara and better grades of agarwood became scarce in the marketplace over the last few years. And, yes, I’d rather have the quality remain than receive an inferior product. I just hate to hear that it is finally time to pay up, that a stick of Enju is going to cost me as much as a tank of gas.
I checked the Japanese sites, it looks like a 2X price increase on 1-1-15. All things being equal I am surprised they held back this long as all the majors have either discontinued lines of done the same price jump.
Well, I spent way beyond my yearly budget stocking up on the sticks I like, due to price and formula “recalculations”, to put it mildly. Hopefully a year from now there will still be some good formulations left, even if at a higher price, and if so, I may add further. Hate to think of a day soon when I can no longer spoil myself, at least a little bit.
Here’s my first experience with Minorien Fu-in Kyara Ryugen just today:
“A wet, musky, sweet bubblegum, fungi scent at the first light. And then there it is…a lovely, crisp cedar, woody scent. It surfaces for a moment and then hides back under that strange bubblegum scent. I wonder if that’s the kyara scent that is so elusive. When it rises to the surface it’s so invigorating! It feels purifying and instantly transports me into a meditative state. What special power does this kyara hold? I thought some kyara reviews online were just crazy incense people making stuff up. But it’s really something magical. I wish I could identify all the scents. I’m wondering if that most prominent, first lighting scent is aloeswood or something like that. I wish there was some way to smell pure kyara wood. I want to experience that cedar, woody scent all by itself (or even see if that’s the scent I’m identifying as kyara).”
Having tried the Fred Soll’s, I really dig the following:
1. Pinon, Cedar and Juniper Berry, Albuquerque Mountain Cedar, Taos Pine, Rosemary & Sage, and White Sage and Dragon’s Blood — these all have a similarity to me – they all present a vibrant fresh wintergreen type aroma – it just takes different forms. The Pinon and Rosemary/Sage seem a little more earthy and savory, for instance, while the Cedar and Juniper Berry and White Sage and Dragon’s blood are really fresh, clean, deodorizing types scents.. They’re all great..
2. The Frankincense and Gardenia – oh yea, gardenia! Great gardenia smell with just a mellow underlying sweetness that I gather is the frankincense..
3. The Champa blends are excellent, as is the straight Nag Champa – to my nose they seem on par with Mother’s India, which is the best champa I’ve tried.
4. The Frankincense and some of the frankincense blends are awesome.. The frankincense is the citrusy type..
5. Magical Copal – oh hell yea, this one is stellar..
What I don’t care much for at this point are:
1. Santa Fe spice – smells to me like fake cinnamon cookie smell or something
2. Fresh Peaches – smells to me like skunky fake peach scent that is muddied up by the base stick etc. Peaches are my favorite fruit though, I’m really into my peaches..
3. The New Mexico Sandalwood – it’s ok, but really one-dimensional sicky sweet oil scent – I doubt there’s any actual sandalwood in there or even sandalwood resin.. I like the Sandalwood champa though – the champa cuts that heavy sweetness and it all comes together really well..
I’ve been a customer of Fred’s for a long time, and his incense just keeps getting better. I have four different Hall of Fame varieties of Mother’s, and Fred’s Nag Champa (pure) beats the HECK out of Mother’s, in my eyes. Mother’s is special, for sure, but Fred has been a favorite for years. His Frank and Myrrh Ancient Blend and the newer Honeysuckle are truly superb as well. Give them a try if you haven’t. You’ll be blown away!